Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
PRIME MINISTER Portia Simpson Miller yesterday said Jamaica's golden jubilee would see the country making significant strides towards breaking its attachment to the British Empire.
"I love the Queen. She is a beautiful lady, and apart from being a beautiful lady, a wise lady and a wonderful lady, but I think time come," Simpson Miller said during her inaugural address as Jamaica's new prime minister at King's House yesterday.
"This 50th anniversary year will be a time for reflection on the lessons of the past; and as we celebrate our achievements as an independent nation, we now need to complete the circle of Independence," she said.
"In this regard, we will therefore initiate the process of our detachment from the Monarch to become a republic with our own indigenous president as head of state," she added.
Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who was absent from the swearing-in ceremony for Simpson Miller yesterday, last April said Jamaica should replace the Queen as head of state before Independence Day this year. Jamaica will mark 50 years of Independence on August 6.
"I have long believed that if I am to have a queen, it must be a Jamaican queen. I would not wish to see us celebrate 50 years of Independence without completing that part of our 'sovereignisation', for want of a better word," he told legislators.
In the meantime, Simpson Miller also called for the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party to play its part in ensuring Jamaica abolishes appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
She said one important item on the agenda of her Government would be to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Jamaica in its final appellate jurisdiction.
"We must fully repatriate our sovereignty," Simpson Miller said, while urging the Opposition to join with the Government in moving Jamaica to the CCJ.
"Let us together complete this aspect of regional integration within the life of this administration," she said.